Dear SOE Community,
The mission of the Syracuse University School of Education is “to prepare thoughtful and socially just leaders who bridge scholarship and practice.” Two of our core commitments are “to operate from a social justice philosophy that includes advocating for the rights of historically marginalized populations and for educational, health, and broader forms of equity” and “to recognize that diversity and academic excellence are inseparable. Diversity is embraced in its varied dimensions including but not limited to a diverse community of faculty, students, and staff; multiculturalism; and work in diverse schools and social environments.”
The events this week involving the Theta Tau fraternity are a sharp reminder of the need for us to be constantly vigilant and working to disrupt narratives of hate, intolerance, and systemic oppression within our own community and in the world at large. Our mission and core commitments without action are simply words. We must address this and continue to address this. We are all part of the problem in racist and otherwise unjust systems, but we can be part of the solution.
In addition to the actions the University is taking, the Dean’s Council (compromised of all administrators and department chairs in the SOE) will work with the SOE Committee on Diversity and SOE student leadership to plan and implement ongoing diversity training for all faculty and staff by fall 2018, and identify ways to integrate diversity education into EDU 101 First-year Forum and other courses, and into the graduate student experience.
We want to recognize the efforts that programs in the Center for Academic Achievement and Student Development (CAASD), including CSTEP, HEOP, LSAMP, McNair Scholars, and SSS, have undertaken in support of students in the aftermath of the video. Helping students sort through their feelings and anger over incidents like this is difficult, emotional, and time consuming.
Hendricks Chapel Dean Brian Konkol’s message on Wednesday listed other resources available on campus. Additionally, staff members in our Office of Academic and Student Services (111 Waverly Avenue, Room 230) are available.
Our mission and core commitments articulate our desire for diversity and inclusion. Our actions will demonstrate our will to implement these.
Joanna O. Masingila
Dean, School of Education
230 Huntington Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244